Doctor insights on:
What Are The First Signs Of Liver Damage
Blood tests: You definitely want to catch damage before there are any signs of damage. Thus anyone prescribing medication that can be harmful to the liver will recommend regular blood testing to watch for any liver troubles. ...Read more
This organ plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It lies below the diaphragm in the abdominal-pelvic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of ...Read more
All show late: Bloodwork shows liver injury much earlier than physical signs, which can include: dry / rough skin; yellow coloration (jaundice); altered mental status; prominent blood vessels around belly button; swollen neck veins; easy bruising/bleeding; abdomen distension (ascites); stool changes (color / consistency); day/night sleep reversal... ...Read more
Labs / Biopsy: Biopsy is the gold standard to evaluate liver damage. This test is not done on everyone. Liver function tests can let a doctor know if there is ongoing inflammation of the liver. There are different tests like Fibrospect that is a less invasive than a liver biopsy that can help. All of this has to be put in context with your medical conditions/ history, etc.. and discussed with your doctor. ...Read more
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Can be subtle: The liver can suffer a lot of damage before it becomes apparent that something is wrong, which is why it is so important to be screened for common causes, like hepatitis b and c, while you feel normal. Often early symptoms are fatigue and just not feeling well. Later symptoms of advanced cirrhosis (severe scarring) include easy bleeding, swelling, yellow skin or eyes, breasts in men, etc. ...Read more
LFT's: Elevated liver function tests (alt, ast and ggt). Just because medications are started that are cleared through the liver (protease inhibitors)'doesn't necessarily mean there will be dysfunction. Is important to try and minimize all meds that get cleared through the liver (statins for example if possible). Avoiding alcohol and tylenol (acetaminophen) is very important. ...Read more
Alcohol: Effects depend on the amount consumed. Small to moderate consumption causes reduced risks of blood clots , stone formation , diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis. Large consumption causes impaired memory & vision, anemia, cardiomyopathy, hepatitis, cancer mouth/esophagus, gastritis, pancreatitis, diabetes type 2, depression, anxiety, psychosis, insomnia, panic, cravings. ...Read more
Too much fluid: No, it's a sign that he has too much fluid in his body. If he quits drinking, his body will get rid of it naturally. If you are worried he may have a drinking problem, talk to somebody you feel is safe. ...Read more
Niacin: It is OK if the doctor has prescribed it. You might also take vitamin B3 once a week. ...Read more
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